Frigid temperatures may have delayed the party a bit, but nothing will stop the development of transformational new projects from coming to downtown Oswego.
On Wednesday, Oswego Village President Gail Johnson and Shodeen President David Patzelt heralded the commencement of work for The Reserve at Hudson Crossing. The six-story, two building development will feature luxury apartment living, experiential retail, restaurant space, free public parking decks and street improvements, all on the site of the former Alexander Lumberyard on Washington Street in downtown Oswego.
To kick off construction of the new project, the two popped a confetti-filled champagne bottle on one of the remaining structures on the site and counted down to its demolition by an excavator. Crews will continue clearing the land over the next several days to pave the way for The Reserve at Hudson Crossing, which will when complete reshape the downtown Oswego landscape.
“Our residents told us that what they wanted most for Oswego was to strengthen the heart of this community with renewed interest our downtown,” Village President Gail Johnson said. “They wanted more unique dining options, an enhanced shopping district, and places to gather with friends and neighbors on a Friday evening to connect and have fun. This is a day we’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and I am pleased to tell you today that this dream is
becoming a reality.”
The kickoff event was delayed by one week when record-col temperatures prevented the movement of heavy equipment to the site, but the kickoff event’s delay is not expected to impact the project’s completion timeline, which will take at least three years. Other steps in the project, including plan approvals from state and Federal agencies, have continued behind the scenes.
The Reserve at Hudson Crossing was conceived through a process that began in the fall of 2016, when the Oswego Village Board voted to establish a downtown TIF District to encourage development in certain hard-to-build parcels in the downtown. Among them was the old Alexander Lumberyard, which closed in 2006 and sat as a vacant eyesore for more than a decade.
“We knew when we first started that this was the key to development in downtown Oswego,” Johnson said. “It’s a difficult piece of land to develop, with shallow bedrock and other unique challenges, but it’s also perfectly positioned to connect the banks of the Fox River to our charming downtown. We knew that whatever we were going to do with this
land had to be something special, and I think we’ve got that with this project.”
In December 2016, the Village Board voted to purchase the land and then set about seeking proposals for the property. The winning proposal, from Geneva-based Shodeen, Inc., combined the lumberyard with adjacent rental properties to develop The Reserve at Hudson Crossing. When complete, the first of the two-phased project will feature approximately
175 luxury apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail along Washington Street, a restaurant with outdoor dining along Washington Street, and completely reconstructed streets with benches and other amenities. In addition, parking decks on the lowest floors of the development will continued to be owned by the Village and will provide approximately 320
spaces of free covered parking for downtown shoppers and diners.
“Projects of this magnitude have a lot of working pieces to them,” Patzelt said. “But what we have here in Oswego is not just a beautiful project planned for a great piece of land, but also strong, collaborative leadership with a vision for the future of this community. We are committed to building something together that will be a catalyst, bringing even more
life and excitement to Oswego’s engaging downtown.” And there’s much more coming soon.
Wednesday’s event was just the first of several ceremonious construction-related events anticipated in downtown Oswego over the coming spring and summer construction season. Although the Reserve at Hudson Crossing has dominated the headlines of downtown Oswego development because of its ambitious size and offerings, several other projects are also expected to break ground this year, spurred by the promise of hundreds of new residents and investments in public infrastructure.
Among them are a three-story mixed-use development of first-floor retail and upstairs office and residential space slated for the former Village Hall site, and a two-story Mexican restaurant along Washington Street from the team behind Naperville-based Potter’s Place.
Together, the two projects will anchor the new Block 11, a re-imagined street-scape featuring a pedestrian-friendly shared promenade for shoppers and diners to gather in downtown.